"Call Microsoft Helpline" pop-up scam removal instructions
What is "Call Microsoft Helpline"?
"Call Microsoft Helpline" is a scam run by deceptive websites. It operates by tricking users into believing that their device is infected and they need to contact the fake technical support provided, in order to resolve the issues. Users should note that no page can detect threats present in their systems; therefore, any that claim to do so - cannot be trusted. This specific scam pretends to originate from Microsoft, however this is false. The aforementioned company is unconnected to "Call Microsoft Helpline". Few visitors to deceptive/rogue sites access them intentionally, most get redirected by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already present in the device.
The first thing visitors see is a pop-up window. The message within claims that their connection to this webpage is not secure, therefore they must sign-in. The background pop-up pretends to be a warning alert from Microsoft. This alarm states that "Malicious Pornography Spyware/Riskware" has been detected on the system. Users are urged not to ignore this alter and contact the fake helpline without delay. It is proclaimed that closing this page will disable users' access to the device in order to prevent further damage to the network. To further alarm users, the pop-up implies that some sort of unmentioned information is currently being stolen from them. The background states that the computer has been locked, due to it being infected with Trojan-type malware. This has allegedly happened due to the Windows activation key having expired. Supposedly, the users' information (usernames and passwords, banking details, messaging history/contacts) has already been stolen. To prevent further damage to their data and identity, the scam tells users to call the number listed. The sole purpose of such scams is to generate revenue for their designers. There are many ways how calling fake technical support numbers can harm users and their devices. These numbers can have high fees, even though it is often claimed that they are toll-free. It is also possible that users will be lead along through confusing directions, which will require them to pay for imaginary services. They may be instructed to purchase illegitimate and nonoperational software and/or tricked into downloading/installing malicious programs. In some cases, deceptive webpages cannot be closed by simply closing the browser tab/window. Therefore, the Task Manager should be used to terminate the browser process. However, prior to reopening the browser, it is crucial not to restore the previous session. If that is not done, the rogue site will be reopened as well (or the page that redirected to the scam - will redirect to it again).
As mentioned, deceptive/scam websites are typically opened by PUAs. These apps appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" features, though they are rarely operational. Instead of delivering on any promises, unwanted applications have many heinous abilities to generate profit for their developers. Content under this classification can cause redirects to untrustworthy and malicious websites. Some can run intrusive advert campaigns, i.e. deliver undesirable and harmful ads. Other can hijack browsers and promote fake search engines. It is not uncommon for PUAs to have data tracking abilities. They monitor users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and real-life personal details). This sensitive data can then be shared with third parties and end up being used for criminals purposes. Therefore, PUAs can not only cause various browser/system infiltrations and infections, but also lead to financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, it is recommended to remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||possible malware infections|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims that user's device is infected and they need to contact technical support to prevent further damage.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1-888-901-0041|
|Symptoms||Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.|
|Distribution methods||Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.|
To eliminate possible malware infections our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
The Internet is full of scam/rogue sites. They tend to use social engineering and scare-tactics to push visitors into performing certain actions, e.g. calling fraudulent support numbers, downloading/installing/purchasing untrustworthy or malicious software, paying for fake services rendered, etc. "E.tre456_worm_Windows", "Norton Subscription Has Expired Today", "What is Microsoft Alert Your Data Is At Risk" are a few examples of other scams similar to "Call Microsoft Helpline".
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs proliferate via download/install setups of other programs. This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled programs onto systems. Some of these apps also have "official" download webpages. Intrusive advertisements can spread such content as well. When clicked, they can execute scripts, designed to download/install PUAs without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Content should be always research, prior to download/installation. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar sources are considered to be untrustworthy, hence using them is ill-advised. When downloading/installing, users are encouraged to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads usually appear legitimate and harmless, however when clicked - redirect to unreliable sites (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). In case of encounters with adverts/redirects of this type, users should inspect the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in "Call Microsoft Helpline" initial pop-up window:
Your connection to this site is not private
The appearance of "Call Microsoft Helpline" pop-up (GIF):
Screenshot of the background pop-up:
Text presented in this pop-up window:
** Microsoft Warning Alert **
Malicious Pornography Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80092ee9
Please call us immediately Call Microsoft Helpline
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent
further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic
Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
Call Microsoft Helpline
Screenshot of the background page:
Text presented in this page:
Call Microsoft Helpline
Your computer has been Locked
Call Microsoft Helpline
Your computer with the IP address 22.214.171.124 has been infected by the Trojans -- Because System Activation KEY has expired & Your information (for example, passwords, messages, and credit cards) have been stolen. Call Microsoft +1-888-901-0041 to protect your files and identity from further damage.
Call Microsoft Helpline
Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "Call Microsoft Helpline"?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with possible malware infections removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:
Click the three horizontal dots icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".
Click the three horizontal dots icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.
In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.
Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.
- If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove possible malware infections from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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